Friday, August 8, 2014

Meet The (Inactive) Local Punk Bands!! Part 5

(Updated at 11:42 PM) We're finally back with another introductory post to defunct and inactive local punk bands, in order to formally roll them into our band links on The Sault Metal Scene! Today, we're mainly dipping into PureVolume for bands, but we're starting our MySpace searching by including a punk band on there from somewhere you may not expect. Now, here's what you need to know on these four new old punk bands, and huge thanks to prolific local musician Mark Rand for helping fill in many of the gaps below!

We'll start with a defunct local punk band named The Bottom Half who have extremely minimal surviving information via their PureVolume page, but still have some material to check out! A pop punk quintet, the members were only credited by first names on PureVolume, but I can confirm that their complete lineup featured singer Lucas Castellani, guitarists Mark Rand (now of Peterborough's Cross Dog) and local MMA fighter Mitch Fryia, current Northwest bassist Mike Smykacz, and drummer James Moss (now of the Toronto folk band Young Running). Mark told me that The Bottom Half were a cover band that later morphed to a pop punk sound to follow what was in at the time, but they didn't last too long (only visibly from 2004-2005). Two songs of theirs are listed on the audio player on their PureVolume page, which were apparently planned for an album named "Beginnings Change", and while "Open Up" doesn't work, "Mistakes" does, so how does it sound? It's a little simplistic, but it's got a catchy modern pop punk sound that would please fans of Blink-182, and Luc's vocals fit the song perfectly! Give The Bottom Line a listen above!

Next up, here's arguably the biggest of today's featured bands, that being defunct local indie/punk trio Fuller! Constantly featuring Jamie Vincent (Bad Back, AlgomA) on vocals & guitar, their most identifiable lineup also featured Jamie's current Bad Back bandmate Nathan Sauve on drums, and the aforementioned Mark Rand on bass, while their original lineups featured future Burn The Past bassist Dan Fagan (who founded Fuller with Jamie as an acoustic duo) & drummers Jamie Kersley (a recent stand-up comedian) and Marc Santos (later of A Fall From Innocence). Also active from roughly 2004-2005, Fuller played concerts everywhere from The Oddfellows Hall to one of the last major metal/punk shows at the Club Princess in January 2005 (and even some out of town shows), opening for the likes of Moneen & Choke along the way. Fuller disbanded by 2006, with Mark joining Bondar later that year, and later joining Nathan in Lion Ride's original lineup. You can best hear Fuller today via some live concert videos on Nathan's original YouTube channel, so how do they sound?

The audio could be clearer on these videos, but there's a good poppy enthusiasm and some mature lyrics to go around, and Jamie's clean singing is a solid fit for this style! Bad Back & Lion Ride fans should be warned that Fuller are not overly similar to either, rather taking on an indie punk sound with jazz influences. Very good chemistry though, but it'd be nice to get more of a bead on the crowd reception. I imagine Fuller had a solid local following, but give them a look & listen below and via the above links to see for yourself, and here they are playing their song "Love Is Always"1

We'll take a detour for both source website and nationality for this next band, as here's an honest rarity: A recent punk band from the Sault Michigan area! We don't hear of too many straight punk bands across the river (apart from some formed through the Guitar Studio rock camps), but The Pick-Me-Ups are one of the few, so I thought we'd touch on them first from bands whose main surviving band page is on MySpace! Active from roughly 2008-2010, their lineup featured singer/guitarist Matt LaPointe (who also has some solo work), bassist Trevor Yake, and ex-Elements of Madness drummer Landon Mattson. Many of The Pick-Me-Ups' concerts related to or were held at Malcolm High School, including the school's Musicfest in May 2009 at The Big Bear Arena, while a 10 song demo was distributed at their gigs around that time, though the band is believed to have quietly disbanded the following year. Six original songs can be streamed on their MySpace page, and therein, you'll get a fun ska-punk sound that fans of the reggae-influenced subgenre will definitely take to!

On songs like "Eureka Street" and"Grape Kool-Aid", you get a solid sense of Matt's guitar ability, and Landon's drumming fit in very well also! It'd be awesome to see more punk bands in the E.U.P., but you can get more of a glimpse at The Pick-Me-Ups via their YouTube channel, which has a pile of videos from the aforementioned Malcolm High Musicfest as well as assorted other jam and recording footage. Mixed quality, but a good punk spirit and underrated talents are still present, so give The Pick-Me-Ups a look above, and here they are playing their song "What It's Like"!

Finally, here's a defunct screamo & alternative quartet Stripped Of His Wings (later known as Camorra), who were also around locally circa 2004-2005. Well known from assorted Oddfellows Hall gigs during their run, Stripped Of His Wings' lineups featured no less than 5 different drummers, but Mark told me that S.O.H.W.'s main lineup featured singer Matt Parent, guitarists Patrick Lethbridge & Wayne Haskell, and Bottom Half alums Mike Smykacz & James Moss on bass & drums, while Matt left the band prior to their name change to Camorra, with Pat taking over lead vocals. Surviving material on the band under either name isn't in high supply, but their Soundclick page describes them as "melodiously strident", and mentions Boys Night Out and Poison The Well among their influences. As Camorra, the band had planned to reform after members relocated to Waterloo in the mid-2000s (presumably for college), and Mark told me that they toned down the screamo influences, but it's not clear how much they accomplished there, if anything, before falling inactive.

Soundclick features four songs that the band played under both names, so how do they sound? Largely live concert recordings, I'll concede now that we probably should have had Stripped Of His Wings on the site before our punk merger due to their sound basically being an upbeat hardcore style that fans of As It Stands would have definitely taken to! I wonder how they slipped under the radar for this long? Sounds energetic and moshable, but the recording quality isn't great, with their songs being too muffled to really gauge everything. However, this black & white Oddfellows show video from The 705 Video Magazine has a better glimpse of their hardcore & screamo sounds, and they mostly have a good lively stage presence here! Give Stripped Of His Wings/Camorra a look below!

I hope you guys liked this newest defunct punk band introductory post, and thanks again to Mark for the added information! Our last features to roll in older punk bands to our links will (barring a missed band on other social media sites) be based around bands whose primary surviving online page is on MySpace, which will be a challenge due to their massive layout overhauls, much of which stripped "local" references on them. Look out for Part 6 soon, and stay tuned for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile on Sunday! Thanks everyone!

No comments: